SUPPORT OUR SHOPS: Sweet smell of sales by Crowland Abbey

GIFT SHOP: Sally Sanders with a bowl made out of recycled wood at her Passiflora's gift shop in Crowland.  Photo by Katey Jane Photography.
GIFT SHOP: Sally Sanders with a bowl made out of recycled wood at her Passiflora's gift shop in Crowland. Photo by Katey Jane Photography.
  • Room for everyone at town gift shop
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An ever-changing world of colour and scents is attracting people to a shop just a short walk from Crowland Abbey.

Passiflora’s in South Street is a gift shop that combines interior design, herbal remedies, Fairtrade products and even recycled jewellery.

The shop is the creation of Sally Sanders who worked in corporate interiors for 15 years during which time she also gained a first class degree in herbal medicine from the University of Westminster.

Sally said: “I have a background in interior design so arts and crafts, textiles and colours have been part of my life.

“But I was spending alll my time in an office, on a computer, when I love working with people and teaching.

“So after turning 50 last year, I started making a list of all the things I wanted to do and Passiflora’s was one of them.

ECLECTIC MIX: Kitchenware made out of recycled wood by Clark Watling of Dowsdale, near Crowland.  Photo by Katey Jane Photography.

ECLECTIC MIX: Kitchenware made out of recycled wood by Clark Watling of Dowsdale, near Crowland. Photo by Katey Jane Photography.

“The idea of it is to bring together gifts, accessories, cosmetics and herbal medicines, along with workshops and support for local artists and craftspeople.

“In the spring, I’ll also be doing herbal walks and talks to show how you can help people to reconnect with nature.”

The shop’s name is taken from the Latin term passiflora incarnata, more commonly known as maypop, purple passionflower or true passionflower.

Sally’s dreams for Passiflora’s took root after moving to Crowland with her husband two-and-a-half years ago, setting up shop in a town which she identifies with more than most of its residents.

The general response I’ve had about the shop is ‘it’s really lovely’, ‘you have some beautiful things’, and ‘it’s something different’

Sally Sanders, Passiflora’s of Crowland

She said: “On my mother’s side, our ancestors come from Crowland and I believe that five of them are buried in front of Crowland Abbey.

“In addition, my dad used to bring me to the Abbey when I was younger so I know there’s always been a lot going on around it with its history.

“But coming back here to live, I’ve been surprised by how many visitors Crowland gets, people passing through to look at the Abbey and Trinity Bridge.

“There are lots of really lovely people here and we have an active community in Crowland who can help Passiflora’s by supporting the shop.

“Our customer base is quite varied, from young mothers with young children to retired ladies who are buying gifts for their family, friends and grandchildren.

“Passiflora’s opened in October 2016 and I was really busy in the run-up to Christmas, with lots of positive feedback from local residents.

“The general response I’ve had about the shop is ‘it’s really lovely’, ‘you have some beautiful things’, and ‘it’s something different’.”

This month, Passiflora’s is hosting a series of workshop and craft events to run alongside its normal sales of greetings cards, artwork, hand-made wrapping paper, knitwear and jewellery.

They include a Creative Origami Gift Boxes mini-workshop on Wednesday, February 22, between 1pm and 3pm, and an Introduction to Keeping Sketchbooks on Saturday, February 25, from 1.30pm ’til 3.30pm.

Both workshops will be led by Crowland-based artist Jackie Devereux who was elected President of the Society of Graphic Fine Art in February 2014.

Sally said: “I’d like to see the workshops really take off because it’s a really nice, community thing to put them on.

“I used to be an adult education tutor in Milton Keynes, both in interior design and herbal medicines, so I think Passiflora’s is a great place at which to have workshops running.

“They are bringing people into Crowland from places like Boston and Peterborough which helps the town by getting the community involved in crafts.

“So whether old or young, the thing people have in Crowland is an appreciation for something that’s a bit different and Passiflora’s is an eclectic mix of nice things.”

Next week’s featured business will be Clark’s Family Eyecare of Donington.